In a cluster of new friends on Twitter, this little light was shining. Her name is Callie Daruk. Seven years ago, Callie found herself face-to-face with the reality that her 32 years of professing Christ was merely lip service — that she knew about Jesus, but she did not know Him. What an eye-opener! How many others have come to the same realization?
Callie discovered this during an excruciatingly painful time in the life of her family. She discovered that sometimes God will give us more than we can handle, simply to help us realize that we can’t handle it without Him.
When I asked Callie if she would share her story on Faith Notes, this is how she responded: “Well hi there sweet Nan. Thank you so much for taking time to read my blog and for your sensitivity to follow the Holy Spirit. Yes, hon, oh boy, did Christ ever find me in a time of darkness. I am seven years on the other side and I am still as hungry for him as the day I was at the end of my rope. I would be delighted to allow God’s goodness to flow, for truly it is really His story and one He’s simply allowed me to be a part of.”
She had my heart at “Well hi there sweet Nan…” I know you will be touched by Callie’s beautiful story of redemption.
Welcome to Faith Notes, Callie!
Most structures look sturdy from the outside. Until a storm comes along and breaks down its walls, the foundation that lies underneath is not seen. Ten years ago, winds of destruction began to blow in my own heart and I was exposed for the hypocrite I was.
On December 10, 2007 I went into premature labor with twin sons. At eight weeks of age, the smallest of the two, Isaiah, developed a deadly illness called Necrotizing Enterocolitis. It resulted in the loss of nearly all his small bowel and some of his large.
He went on to spend the first seven consecutive months of his life at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, TN. Due to his condition, he was completely dependent upon an intravenous source of nutrition. At seven months of age, due to the extended period on the drug, Isaiah went into liver failure.
“Mr. & Mrs. Daruk, there is nothing more we can do. Babies do not recover from this.”
The same night the head of neonatology told us this, we miraculously found out about an experimental drug in the clinical trials in Boston, MA. Eighty-seven out of eighty-nine babies in the trial had their liver failure reversed.
One-week later, Isaiah was life-flighted to Boston and despite spending nearly his first year in two hospitals, enduring thirteen operations, countless procedures, and surviving multiple near-death experiences, Isaiah survived with no signs of liver failure.
This is the beautiful and truly miraculous part of my testimony that’s so easy to share. Our son was given a death sentence and lived. What I didn’t realize at the time was that the same was true of my own heart.
After nearly a full year in the hospital, Isaiah returned home with a central line and had to be given infusions day and night. He suffered from (and still does) short-bowel syndrome and had a feeding tube because he couldn’t eat by mouth. We had feeding, physical, and occupational therapies and constant doctor visits (for the next five years). I also had Isaiah’s twin brother, Joshua, at home with a feeding tube, along with their two-year-old brother, Elijah.
Despite what well-meaning people would tell me, there was more on me than I could handle. I put up a brave front. I tried hard to be strong; to be okay, but I was far from okay.
Though our son’s liver failure had been miraculously reversed, we had been told at one point, because of a terrible code blue episode, he would suffer brain damage as a result. Having gone a significant time without oxygen to his brain, it could be significant.
I had no idea what the rest of our lives would hold.
Growing up, I hadn’t been perfect by any means, but I’d loved God since I’d prayed the sinner’s prayer when I was six years old. I didn’t understand why this was happening to me. When my new normal proved more than I was capable of handling, my walls began to crack, and my foundation began to show through.
Like bombs hidden in the depths of my soul, anger, bitterness, and rage exploded. I never stopped believing in God, but there came a point when I was done. I became numb and stopped feeling altogether. That, I often say, is a dangerous place to be as a woman because God made us to feel.
Over time, instead of crying out to God, I withdrew from Him and everyone else. I became someone I didn’t recognize. I said things I thought I’d never say, and did things I never imagined I would do.
Even though I let go, God didn’t let go of me and through another miraculous set of circumstances, on February 14th, 2011, I fell on my face utterly broken before God. Through the dream of a dear friend, He’d revealed that, like the Pharisees in Mark 7:6, I had honored Him with my lips, but my heart was far from Him.
At thirty-two years of age, despite professing to know Christ my entire life, I met Him.
Growing up in the south and attending church, I knew I needed Jesus, but I had never truly seen the darkness of my own heart until what seemed like hell broke loose in my own life. Flat on my face, on my bedroom floor, for the first time, I was fully aware of why Callie Daruk needed Jesus Christ.
I should have been turned away, but He met me there and He has been meeting me ever since. I got up with a love, an acceptance, and a peace I didn’t deserve — not just from God, but from my family.
To those who say, “God will never put more on you than you can handle,” I now respond with what I know to be true from my own experiences. Sometimes, God will do exactly that, to show us that we cannot handle it without Him.
I take great care, daily, to ask God the condition of my heart. I pray this verse continually, Psalm 139:23, 24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
I began a journal just four days after truly meeting Him. It opened with, Dear God, I want to give you my whole heart, but I don’t know how. I haven’t stopped writing to Him since. Daily, I sit down to visit with Christ. I’m getting to know His heart, and making certain that He has mine. All of it. He meets me there and I am falling in love with Love Himself.
The truth is, He loved me enough to expose me and I am eternally grateful.
Dear one, if you find yourself in a dark valley with trials and temptations all around you, look up. If you are out of control, look up. If you have failed, look up. God loves you with a relentless love and He will not let you go. Surrender your whole heart before Him. Give Him time and you will taste of His great goodness.
More about Callie:
Callie Daruk is a smitten wife and a joyful mother of three boys in Nashville, TN. As an award-winning writer, blogger, and speaker, she encourages others to seek Christ with their whole heart. She also serves as the Nashville Chapter President for Word Weavers Int.
Callie and Isaiah have begun a website where other kids can share miracle stories about themselves and how God saved their lives or a parent can share for them. They are currently looking for contributors at www.littlebodybigmiracles.com
Little Body, Big Miracles
Thank you so much for stopping by. I would love for you to share what’s on your heart in the comments below. Scroll a little farther down and you’ll see where you can leave your comments. Together, we can find the nearness of God in our darkest moments.
Sweet blessings to you,